Receiving Wide Coverage ...
Let the bidding begin: Euronet launched a rival, unsolicited $1 billion bid to buy MoneyGram, igniting a potential bidding war for the Dallas-based money-transfer firm. In January, MoneyGram agreed to be acquired for $880 million by Ant Financial Services Group, the Chinese online-payment company whose investors include Alibaba founder Jack Ma and the Chinese government. Kansas-based Euronet said its higher bid would also present fewer regulatory hurdles than Ant's. "The proposal offers stockholders a clear and significantly more certain path to a faster closing," Euronet said.
Joining the T-team: James Donovan, a veteran Goldman Sachs executive, was one of six peoople nominated for Treasury posts. Donovan was tapped as deputy secretary, the agency's No. 2 official. Others named include former Bear Stearns Chief Economist David Malpass as undersecretary for international affairs, economist Adam Lerrick for international finance, and Sigal Mandelker, a former Justice Department official, for terrorism and financial intelligence. Wall Street Journal, New York Times
Trump's busy day: President Trump also nominated J. Christopher Giancarlo to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Giancarlo is "expected to adopt a more industry-friendly approach than his predecessors during the Obama administration." Wall Street Journal, New York Times
Delinquent: The number of Americans delinquent on federal student loans continues to grow. The U.S. Education Department said the number of borrowers who are at least nine months past due on their loans increased by 1.1 million last year to about eight million people, who collectively owe $137 billion. Making matters worse, many of those borrowers never earned a degree and don't have steady jobs.
Wall Street Journal
Joining the crowd: Investment consultant Cambridge Associates, which advises endowments, foundations and pensions on which firms they should hire to invest their money, is becoming a money manager itself. "The consulting model has faced pressure from increased competition that has driven down fees and from investors' growing embrace of low-cost, passive index products," the paper noted, while the money management business is becoming increasingly more profitable. The firm currently invests about $20 billion of client money in outside funds.
Unbridled enthusiasm: Consumers and small businesses have become more confident about the country's economic prospects since late last year. Now the big boys have climbed on board. The Business Roundtable CEO Economic Outlook Index jumped more than 19 points in the first quarter to 93.3, the largest one-quarter rise in the index since the fourth quarter of 2009. "I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to enact a meaningful pro-growth agenda that will benefit all Americans," said JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, chairman of the Roundtable.
Not yet ready for prime time: Nothing new comes easy, and that seems to be true for bitcoin. "The idea that bitcoin, the epitome of monetary counterculture, could be integrated into financial society, is a step too far," the FT's Lex column says. "Aiming for standardization is wise. But hopes that ETF trading might push the cryptocurrency (designed to evade government interference) into the mainstream always looked far-fetched."
New York Times
Higher standard?: "The Environmental Protection Agency does not spend a lot of time worrying about the ethics of oil refiners or power utilities. It just regulates their emissions," notes David Zaring, an associate professor of legal studies at the Wharton School. "So why are banking regulators making culture and ethics an important part of bank supervision?"
Double standard?: A new research paper from Stanford University and the University of Chicago says that men in the financial industry are three times as likely as women to engage in misconduct, make mistakes that are 30% more expensive to their firms, and are twice as likely to commit a second offense. Yet women financial advisers and stockbrokers who commit similar wrongs face a greater risk of losing their jobs.
"Women just have less margin for error. They walk on more of a tightrope. Employers are less lenient toward them." — University of Chicago business professor Gregor Matvos